Inspired by the song Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns
We live in a dog-eat-dog world. It’s all about what he said/she said. We always find ourselves concerned with what they’re doing.
The world is so horrid and sinful… but we’re fine, right? We go to church on Sundays and try to be nice people. We don’t do the things that those people are doing…at least not the really terrible stuff.
But is that how Jesus calls us to live? In judgment of other people? We’re always looking to those around us, but how often do we skip over our own darkness?
The reality is that each and every one of us is a sinner. It doesn’t matter how “big” of a sin “they” commit, or how “little and innocent” our own sins are. Sin is sin.
What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.Romans 3:9-10
I have been guilty of the comparison game–trying to make myself feel better by comparing my good deeds to the sins of others. I have put others down in my mind in an attempt to justify myself. I don’t want to feel guilty, so I take the focus off myself and look to the shortcomings of others.
But putting someone else down will never lift you up.
At least not in the long run.
Each and every one of us has a sin problem, and avoiding it does not make it better. Riots and protests will not make it better. Screaming our opinions will not make it better.
We have to look to our own hearts and examine our own motives. The gospel is not only for you, or for those who can “live a good enough life.” The gospel is intended for the most cruel person we will ever meet just the same as it is for the “goody-two-shoes” Christian teenager. We may be “good,” but we will never be holy on our own.
Jesus came for those who look at themselves and say, “My works are not enough. My attempts are not enough. My righteousness is not enough.” Why? Because Jesus came to be what we could not–our salvation.
Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:31-32
It isn’t about what we bring to the table; it’s about what God accomplished on the cross. If we think we’re righteous and healthy on our own, then we’ve missed the point.
So what if we stopped judging other people and instead chose to love them as Jesus does? What if we put down the stones in our hands and instead worked on taking the planks out of our own eyes? Pointing out other people’s issues will never accomplish anything if we don’t first get ours taken care of–the blind leading the blind is not a good tactic. Nor is sending the man who can’t swim to save the man who is drowning.
Because that’s our spiritual reality–we cannot swim. And yet so often we’re on the side of the pool trying to coach the drowning people on how to get out of the water. Wouldn’t it make so much more sense to call the lifeguard?
Jesus is our Lifeguard. Jesus is the One who reaches out His hand and lifts us out of the water when we think all hope is lost. He saved us from our sins in the most love-filled act the world will ever know–sacrificing His very life on Calvary. So why do we think we’re going to overcome darkness with hate? Jesus overcame it with Light and Love.
Body-shaming other people is not the answer. Taking our anger out on other people is not the answer. Spreading rumors and lies is not the answer.
Love is the answer, because Jesus died for sinners.
It seems so simple, yet even those who claim to be Christians are missing it. I realize that just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’m guilty of judging others too. I have looked at people differently because they were one of “them.” I have treated others differently because they weren’t “my friend.” I find myself singling out other people’s flaws all the time. Would I ever say it to their faces? Never. But thinking it is just as bad.
The Bible says that if we’re guilty of one sin, we’re guilty of it all.
For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all.James 2:10
It isn’t about what we’ve done or what we have not done. The point is that we’re guilty. With or without the person next to us, we are guilty.
But the good news is that we don’t have to remain guilty. Jesus came to set us free from all of that–you, me, and the person down the street.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.Romans 10:13
Everyone means everyone.
Christians are not a special group of people who have it all together or have all the answers. Christians are simply people who recognize their need for a Savior.
Just because I write a Christian blog and post Christian content on my Instagram does not mean that I think I am better than you. Please hear me on that. I want to post out of humility and love, not to make you feel worse about yourself.
I believe that love is the answer to a thousand problems, and the most loving thing I could ever do for you is tell you about Jesus. Whether or not you accept it is your choice to make–I cannot force it upon you. But I will continue writing gospel-centered content because I firmly believe it is the most important message a person could ever hear.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world–so neither will I.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.John 3:17-18
Jesus is a friend of sinners. And I’m so glad for that because there’s no way I could ever earn a spot at His table! We as His followers are still beggars–but we have found the Bread. It would be selfish of us to keep it for ourselves. We must be beggars that tell other beggars where our hope comes from.
but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.I Peter 3:15
I have hope, and so I will preach that hope. It is my prayer that I would live with open eyes, open heart, open mind. I don’t want to keep others from the cross because I’m busy preaching something that doesn’t matter.
Jesus is a friend of sinners. Christians ought to be friends of sinners too–because Christians are sinners themselves–saved by grace through faith.
May we look to the cross before we do anything else. May mercy triumph over sacrifice. May the stones fall from our hands as we find common ground in the Lord who is good.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.Psalm 136:1
This post was inspired by the song Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns, which I shared with my mailing list a couple weeks ago! If you would like to receive song recommendations (as well as other exclusive content) every Wednesday, please consider signing up for my mailing list. I’d love to have you join us!
Be sure to listen to the song, and may God bless you this week!
In Christ now and always,